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Ukemi waza - Falling techniques

Mae ukemi

falling forward

Falling forward in Japanese martial arts called Mae ukemi is less used in the judo sport, because throwing techniques are done backwards or sideways. The forward falling is more allocated in Ju jutsu. However, it may also be of advantage during a judo competition to avoid Ippon when a surprising throwing technique by the opponent occurs. The thrown Judoka (UKE) rotates during the fall (Nage) so that it ended up with the front of the body on the mat. In training we use Mae ukemi primarily to reduce the natural inhibitions of the falls and to train the body tension. Mae ukemi belongs to the group of "hard falls".


One falls from the upright stand straight forward. Make sure of a strong body tension, the upper body must not bend forward. The entire body comes just at the same time on the mat. Just before the contact with the ground, the head is turned to the left or to the right and slightly raised in order not to hit the face (nose) to the ground. Both arms are raised so that the thumbs are at ear level, in order to knock off with both angled arms, a shoring up with the hands must be avoided, because the wrists and elbows can be injured.

Beginners and young judoka can also perform this falling techniques in the form that they were initially dropped from a standstill to their knees and then conduct Mae ukemi from the kneeling position. In the further course of training, the advanced judoka perform this kind of falling from a jump.

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